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Society And Culture In The 16th Century

The 16th century saw many changes in society and the culture of England. It was also the time of the Renaissance and time of cultural change and it was known as the “re-birth”.

Religion and faith had a massive impact in society as the Church of England was set up in the 1530’s by Henry the eighth. This meant that people did not have to worship the Pope as the key religious figure but instead worship the king or queen. By the Church of England being set up meant that people had more religious freedom and did not have to be controlled by the Pope but instead a monarch. Another key religious event in the 16th century was that the Bible was translated into English for the first time.

Fine art was also very popular in the 16th century and made a huge impact upon society as more people became aware of painters and how if you were wealthy enough to have a portrait of yourself done it would make you aware to either potential husbands or just to be well known in society. Many of the fine art pictures were portraits of religious themes, dramatic art and pictures showing royalty to show off a nation’s pride and beauty of a country.

Class in 16th century society was hugely important as it mattered who you were and how much wealth you had mattered a lot as the court of any king or queen was seen to be the best of the best. The court life also had important foreign political people such as ambassadors of various countries such as: France, Spain, and Italy. There were few theatres until 1576 and previously plays were performed in barns or courtyards. When theatres were starting to take their place as popular entrainment theatres were not just used for plays; they were also used for bear baiting and gambling. A theatre was also a place where both classes were together even though they were divided by where they sat but for the first time in 16th century England there was a popular entertainment for all classes to enjoy.

There was much literature being produced in the 16th century of course. The famous being the works of William Shakespeare such plays as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth and many more. However other famous works of literature were also being produced such as: The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, Utopia by Thomas More, The Faerie Queene By Edmund Spenser and many more!

Literature


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